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Troubleshooting Electrical Issues

Electrician working on electrical components in a new house.
If you are dealing with electrical issues in your rental property, such as flickering lights, non-working outlets, or circuit breakers that frequently trip, you may be looking for ways to address them.

It’s important to prioritize safety and possibly hire a licensed electrician for major electrical issues, though you can try troubleshooting common problems yourself. By checking tripped circuit breakers, testing outlets, and inspecting light fixtures, you can better diagnose the problem and decide on the next steps.

Visual Inspection

If an appliance, lamp, or device stops working, start by inspecting the outlet and cord for any damage. Now and then, a power outlet may fail and go dead. Visible signs of damage, like discoloration, may be present. Likewise, check all plugs and cords for any breaks, fraying, or other damage. If the outlet or cord is damaged, it’s probably time for a replacement.

Try a Different Outlet

When your outlet and power cord seem intact, the next step is to try your lamp or device in a different outlet. It’s necessary to ascertain if the outlet or the electrical item is the cause of the problem. If the device functions when plugged into another outlet (preferably in a different room), then the outlet is the primary issue.

Reset the GFCI

One typical reason an outlet stops functioning is that it’s connected to a GFCI outlet that has tripped. Many outlets include a reset button. If it’s not visible, the reset button will be on another outlet in the circuit.

The reset button for the entire circuit is on a GFCI outlet, commonly located in bathrooms or kitchens but sometimes in less obvious places like garages or laundry rooms. You may need to search for it, but once located, resetting a GFCI outlet is a quick fix for a dead outlet.

Check the Breaker Panel

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the outlets but with a faulty circuit breaker. Frequently, you can spot the faulty breaker by looking at your home’s electrical panel. Numerous breaker boxes are clearly labeled to show which circuits serve which areas of the house. If so, flipping the breaker off and back on can often fix the problem. In other instances, the breaker might be defective or have a loose connection. If that occurs, the breaker must be replaced.

Call Your Landlord

Whatever electrical issue arises, make sure to notify your landlord and explain both the problem and your troubleshooting attempts. Should these issues arise frequently, they might indicate more substantial electrical problems.

If troubleshooting doesn’t solve the non-working outlets, your landlord should bring in a professional electrician. Either way, clear communication with your Clayton property manager is crucial for swift electrical issue resolution.

Interested in swapping your current rental home for one maintained year-round by qualified professionals? Locate your new home with Real Property Management Excellence! Check out our our Rentals or call us at 919-827-1107 today!


Originally published: April 2, 2021

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